Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Health Professions


David E. Cockley

Peter J Eubanks

Timothy M. Howley


Access to health care is a pressing issue in the United States, whether it be the cost of care or not having enough of it. To emphasize the importance of this topic, this paper assesses the impact of access to health services on life expectancy. A comparison is made between the universal health systems in France and Spain and the mixed system in the United States. Even though the United States spends the most on health care in the world, its statistics fall below those of other developed countries. After addressing other risk factors, it was found that individuals under a universal health care system live longer with lower mortality rates.

The text describes all three systems while highlighting the major advantages and disadvantages of each one. A key finding in the advantage of a national system includes guaranteed coverage, which enables individuals to not only receive care when they are ill but also preventive and early-interventional care. Additionally, establishing a universal system may decrease costs for the United States as a large portion of healthcare spending is due to the overflow in emergency departments, including avoidable visits that can be treated at an urgent care or a primary care practice. This paper also explores healthcare policy and reform’s major impact on the accessibility of care. Although a completely universal system seems intangible for the United States, it is important for current health professionals and policymakers to advocate for change to expand overall coverage.

The final section discusses more reasons as to why the U.S. does not have universal health care, and what can be done to push for change in its current system in hopes of resulting in increased life expectancy and overall lower mortality rates.



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